I think this weeks’ sermon by Peter Hitchens who writes for the mail on Sunday is particularly brilliant and sums up the United Kingdom neatly (if it could be said to refer to the intelligence services however it would be too kind)
The Army is thinking of buying a large fleet of inflatable tanks, in the hope of fooling an enemy into believing that we are still a serious military power.
Even if we can find an enemy dim enough to fall for this, it probably won’t work.
Incompetent modern Britain, which has weirdly contrived a shortage of CO2 when everyone else is trying to get rid of it, is quite capable of running out of air when the time comes to pump up the inflatable tanks.
It is working very hard on running out of electricity to drive the pumps, too.
Our mad dogma-driven destruction of coal-fired power stations has left us horribly vulnerable to power cuts.
But the desperate scheme symbolises modern Britain, a country made up of inflatable fakes – easily punctured by a single solid, sharp fact – which only look good from space, or from a Minister’s office.
There’s the balloon economy, a mass of unrepayable public and private debt made worse by an impossible trade deficit.
Then there’s the inflatable NHS, into which we pump endless sums of money without ever actually overcoming its problems of poor hygiene, leaden bureaucracy, waste and long waits.
It too, is an illusion, a thing we pretend to love until it lets us down or kills us.
Inflated exam results are used to pump up our schools (grandly renamed ‘academies’) so that they look good, even if their products can barely read and have learned little except crude Left-wing prejudices.
And so back we come to our Armed Forces. Our Army is smaller than it has been for 200 years.
Many of our shrunken Navy’s ships are stuck immobilised at the quayside because they won’t work in warm water.
And it has just been forced to sell one of its most important and powerful vessels, HMS Ocean, to the Brazilian Navy for a song.
There’s our ridiculous Cold War superpower Trident deterrent, which no British Premier would dare to use, whatever they say, and which will utterly cripple our economy and the rest of our defences unless we swap it soon for something much more modest.
We only look as if we are an important, advanced country – and the illusion only works if you are a great distance away.
The whole thing looms and wheezes above us like an ancient barrage balloon, plastered with cheap nylon Union Jacks to cover the holes, but springing a new leak every minute. One day it will fall on top of us.
This is not a proper nation, just a fake inflatable version of one, and I still hate to think what will happen when the rest of the world realises the sad truth. We, and those who rule us, have plainly decided we prefer the fake to the reality.